Steve Tomlinson D.Min.
This major project, Breaking Free from Personality-Driven Ministry, investigates the tendency of pastors of evangelical churches to develop a cult of personality around their ministry. The project considers the biblical mandate to pursue humility, exegeting both narrative and didactic passages from the New and Old Testament, and then considers secular and Christian literature on the topic of humility and leadership. The field research includes qualitative and quantitative data seeking the perspectives of both clergy and lay leaders on what effective, humble leadership should look like and evaluates the responses in light of the biblical material and literature studied. The conclusion of the project is that humble, non-personality-driven church ministry is not only possible but should be pursued in a context of team leadership, accountability, and personal disciplines. Central to the project's findings is the need for a leader to nurture and pursue a gospel-focused vision.